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Student Perspectives
The Student Perspectives blog is a fresh and realistic snapshot of the life of veterinary medical and biomedical science students.
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LIVE ANIMALS, and Why They Keep Us Sane

LIVE ANIMALS, and Why They Keep Us Sane There are days/weeks/months when it really can be hard to “find the joy,” as we say here at the vet school. It can be a struggle to see through the mountain of assignments, tests, quizzes, and looming finals dates. It can be difficult to find something that really does make you joyful, because, though we all love to be here, and we all want that coveted DVM after our name, often, school is the place we go to Stress. Out. This means that when there are opportunities to find the joy during the school day, things are that much more enjoyable! Recently I had a rotation for my correlates course that required us to head out to Aggieland Humane Society and perform a physical exam and a couple of vaccinations on some cats that were housed there. My group of three had two tomcats and one pregnant queen. Though we all had something to do with an exam of all three cats, each of us was “assigned” to one specifically. I was assigned the pregnant queen. And, l... (Read More)

Reunited and It Felt So Good

Reunited and It Felt So Good Spring Break just passed, and it was amazing; after not seeing my older brother for three months due to his internship, it was the best thing of it all. We got to get lunch and catch up as well as see our favorite genre of movie: horror. We later went out and listened to Roger Creager with a group of friends at Rio Frio Fest in Concan, Texas. (Kudos to him for surviving a 4-hour drive with me.) It was a great way to end it, and I'm so excited for this coming month. April is big for many reasons. My birthday is to come in a couple days, and my older brother is coming up to see me, as well as part take in Chilifest. Also, the week after, his internship ends, and he'll be back for the rest of the semester. Although he loves to push my buttons, he has been the real push for me and my academics. I'm grateful to have him, and soon to have him back without a 300-mile distance between us. (Read More)

Transitioning from a Relaxing Spring Break to a Crazy Week

Transitioning from a Relaxing Spring Break to a Crazy Week My philosophy during veterinary school has been to put 100% into whatever I do. If I decide a certain day is a study day, then I study like crazy and accomplish a lot. If I decide to take a Saturday off to go see some Fighting Texas Aggie Football, then I enjoy the game and shut out any thoughts of studying and school and live in the moment. This attitude towards school has worked for me thus far in my career, but might not be the best option for everyone. It has some great aspects, such as being able to have a life outside of vet school and not having to put my social life on hold for four years. However, it also comes with its drawbacks. This type of approach can cause a lot of stress during those “study” days because I’m forced to review a ton of material at once, usually close to the test date. But for me, it is the best balance and has made veterinary school bearable. This spring break I didn’t touch my books the entire time. I got to spen... (Read More)

The Dreaded Third-Year Cases

The Dreaded Third-Year Cases As third-year veterinary students, we get to enjoy doing cases each week. This is an interesting opportunity for us. It’s bittersweet because these cases are HARD! We get cases where the animals have multiple things wrong with them. Then we create differentials for what diseases could be causing each symptom. We then create a diagnostic plan on what we want to test for first and possibly start treatment. This process is how we should be thinking as doctors when we have live patients in front of us. Right now it’s good practice, but so hard because we don’t know everything and we have to research each and every case. I spend an average of 10 hours a week on a case, in addition to my classes and studying for tests. Now this definitely sounds bitter so far, but let me explain why it’s sweet. I learn so much from each hour I spend researching diseases. Even if I rule out a certain disease for my patient, I learned so much about the disease for late... (Read More)

2VM Communications Elective

2VM Communications Elective During February I participated in the second-year veterinary student (2VM) communications elective. Every Thursday we would head over to the simulation lab at the Health Science Center to practice our communication skills with different scenarios. In these scenarios we are the veterinarians, not veterinary students. As the veterinarian, we were responsible for taking a history, discussing the differential diagnoses or what the problem potentially could be, and the tests we would like to perform to help decide what diagnosis to make. These scenarios ranged from interacting with a client new to our practice to a client making tough decisions about quality of life and euthanasia. We participated in these scenarios with different actors. And let me tell you—they were very convincing! I really enjoyed taking this elective because as a practicing veterinarian you cannot help your patient without having the client on-board. Having difficult conversati... (Read More)

Nostalgia Ultra

Nostalgia Ultra As graduation looms closer, and as I try to figure out what exactly is going in my physiology class, I’ve realized that I’ve been in a state of constant nostalgia. I want to rewind to about three years ago, when I first embarked on my journey at Texas A&M. Chemistry had always been a formidable opponent for me. Dating back to when I had just started to learn the basics in middle school to when I finally took a chemistry course in high school, I had always feared the chemical elements of nature. Chemistry was an unconquerable obstacle that often made me question my intelligence and sanity. The word “zwitterion” was more than enough to send me into a paralyzed state of anxiety. As a senior in high school, I chose to be a biomedical science major on a whim. Prior to my decision, I had had no clue about what to do with my life (and oftentimes I still don’t.) However, after persuasion from my parents, I elected to entrench myself in the sci... (Read More)

A Much-Needed Spring Break

A Much-Needed Spring Break This spring semester has certainly flown by; we are already over halfway through with it. It has been a very busy first half for most of the mixed and large animal students. Besides our regular classes, as third years, we get to take electives, which are specialty classes we get to choose to take based on what interests us. Being mixed or large animal, we get to “celebrate learning” a few more times throughout the semester (by taking tests) than our small animal counterparts. Some might complain about more tests, but I find it rewarding to be able to learn more about the profession I will be entering in just 14 short months. One of the large animals electives I found to be excellent this semester is the bovine reproduction laboratory class. I was able to palpate four cows twice a week to determine their pregnancy status. I now feel confident that when I graduate I will be able to do this on my own. With all the craziness that came with the past... (Read More)

Focusing on What’s Important

Focusing on What’s Important Midterms are upon us, and it’s so overwhelming. In our attempts to maintain or improve our grades, we are stressed to the point of no return. Studying for hours upon hours, some of us only getting few hours of sleep, we wonder how the human body can take all the stress. We all want to be successful, but I realize now that there is a fine line between being a studious student and having your studies engross you. Last year, as a freshman, I let my studies define me. It was my way of self-approval. So when I didn’t do well on a quiz or an exam, my self-approval plummeted, and I felt like nothing. This obsession with making a 4.0 affected the way I interacted with my friends, my family, and myself. It ate me up, and I hated it. I realized I had hit a bottom that I thought I would never reach, and I knew I had to make a change. After a ton of self-reflection, I realized how unimportant everything was. Of course grades are important; however, at the ... (Read More)

A Helping Hand

A Helping Hand Second semester of the first year of veterinary school is very challenging. We are in class more often than first semester, and there are many more exams, quizzes, and assignments. We also have to balance academics with involvement in the myriad of vet school organizations. Fortunately, the college offers several resources to support students when they feel discouraged. One resource that helps students’ transition to vet school is the mentorship programs. Each first-year student is paired with a second-year student mentor. My second-year student mentor gave me great advice about studying as well as a collection of past exams and assignments to study from. The college also has a faculty mentor program, where students are paired with faculty mentors. Each month the school pays for faculty mentors to take a group of students to dinner. Mentor dinners are a great chance to relax and ask questions about life after obtaining a Doctor of Veterinary Me... (Read More)

My New German Shepherd

My New German Shepherd So, I got a new addition to my family over winter break.  Since I live in a house off campus, I've been wanting to get a dog for a while now.  I have a big backyard, and I just love dogs.  I was on a list to adopt a military working dog from Fort Hood, but something else happened to come up before that.  By a strange string of happenings, the neighbors who once lived beside my family, and who my mom was still friends with on Facebook, had a dog they were having trouble taking care of.  My mom jumped at the opportunity to adopt the two-year-old German shepherd, a breed she has a fondness for, named Ziva.  Trouble being, Ziva lived in Indiana, and I was in Colorado for Christmas and was planning to drive home with my grandparents and my cat. So how was I going to pick up this German shepherd and get it home?  The solution was combine all of the above.  We met the family halfway, a sort of triangulation betwee... (Read More)